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Trends Biochem Sci. 1999 Oct;24(10):398-403.

Translation initiation: adept at adapting.

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Laboratory of Eukaryotic Gene Regulation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2716, USA.


Initiation of protein synthesis requires both an mRNA and the initiator methionyl (Met)-tRNA to be bound to the ribosome. Most mRNAs are recruited to the ribosome through recognition of the 5' m7G cap by a group of proteins referred to as the cap-binding complex or eIF4F. Evidence is accumulating that eIF4G, the largest subunit of the cap-binding complex, serves as a central adapter by binding to various translation factors and regulators. Other translation factors also have modular structures that facilitate multiple protein-protein interactions, which suggests that adapter functions are common among the translation initiation factors. By linking different regulatory domains to a conserved eIF2-kinase domain, cells adapt to stress and changing growth conditions by altering the translational capacity through phosphorylation of eIF2, which mediates the binding of the initiator Met-tRNA to the ribosome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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